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Thus we wrote, in perfect accordance with this, in our Review for last October, p. 521:-“In religion we know no national distinctions, and if we ever allude to them, it is to rebuke the ill-judged and dangerous attempt to bring them into the Church, or to make the Church in this country the monopoly of any nationality. We censure no man for his nationality; we judge no man by his nationality..... Religion is Catholic, not national.” We had previously written :* “Catholicity asserts the unity of the race, the common origin and brotherhood of all men, and nothing is more repugnant to its spirit than to judge men by the race from which they have sprung, or the nation in which they were born. Never should we treat any race with contempt, or claim every virtue under heaven for our own. Away with these petty distinctions and petty jealousies. What is it to the Catholic that the blood that flows in his brother's veins has flowed from Adam down through an Anglo-Saxon or a Celtic channel ? Through whichever channel it has flowed, it is the same blood, and has flowed from the same source. All men are brothers, with one and the same Father, and one and the same Redeemer.” If there is any one thing more than another that we have felt it our duty to do all in our power to repress, it has been precisely the disposition that we saw fostered in certain quarters to insist on national distinctions, and to renew here on this continent and among Catholics the old war of races, and it is no little consolation, amid the misapprehension to which we have been subject, and the abuse we have received, to find the illustrious Archbishop of New York laboring expressly and avowedly, with earnestness and vigor to the same end.
His Grace speaks of two divergent tendencies, of two opposing systems, and seems to imply that there is springing up amongst us an American Catholic party opposed to Catholics of foreign birth. Whether such be or be not the fact his Grace is a better judge than we, and it is a matter that we shall not allow ourselves to discuss. We only wish to have it distinctly understood that, if there is any such party, we have no connection with it, have never been and shall never be its organ. We are American by birth, education, connection, habit, and sentiment, and intend to remain so; but we should deprecate the formation of a party hostile to foreign born Catholics, as much as his Grace does the formation of a party hostile to American born Catholics. Undoubtedly, as an American convert we have our mind and heart principally set on the conversion of our non-Catholic countrymen, and are in the habit of looking upon Catholic questions and proceedings in their bearing on these countrymen of ours, whom we so ardently desire to see converted ; but never with feelings of hostility or indifference to our Catholic brethren of foreign birth. We have heard individuals, some of native, some of foreign birth, contend that the Church will never take root here and prosper as she might till we have an indigenous clergy, but we have never entered into the discussion of that question. As we understand it, the uniform policy of the Church has been, in all ages and coun.. tries, to provide for each country, at the earliest practicable moment, a native clergy, and such, we are assured, is the policy, as far as practicable under the circumstances, pursued by our own venerable hierarchy. It has never entered into our head or our heart, we own, to question the wisdom of that policy, or to arraign the Church at the bar of public opinion for having uniformly pursued it; but we have never suffered ourselves to draw or to suggest comparisons between American born and foreign born clergymen, and we have never forgotten that a large proportion of our laity are foreign born, and that for them an American born and educated clergy would not be a native clergy. We beg permission to reproduce here what we wrote on this whole question of nativism and foreignism in our Review for April, 1856.
*Quarterly Review, October, 1854, p. 454.
“ We have thus far, as every body knows, depended chiefly on the immigration of Catholic foreigners for the growth and prosperity of the Church in the United States, and on the Irish more than on any other class of immigrants. The Irish immigrants are not the only Catholies in the country, as some good people imagine, but they, and their children born here, are a very large majority. In the greater number of places they make up the principal part of our congregations, and are the most active, energetic, and devoted part, and the most liberal in supporting Catholic interests and institutions. No Catholic American is, or can be, insensible to what we owe to Catbolics born in Ireland for our present numbers and position. But, we think, the time has come when we should cease to speak of ourselves as Irish, German, English, French, or even as American Catholics, and accustom ourselves to think and speak of ourselves in religion simply as Catholics, and in all else as men and Americans. These foreign national distinctions, though naturally dear to the immigrants themselves, who are not expected to forget their fatherland, cannot be kept up in this country, even if it were desirable that they should be. The children of foreign born parents do and will grow up Americans, and as American in thought, affection, and interest, as the descendants of the first settlers of Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland, or our own Empire State. The foreign national distinctions are, for the most part, obliterated with the first generation, and all attempts to perpetuate them, especially where English is the mother tongue, are and must be fruitless. Catholics this country, of whatever national origin, are in general heartily tired of them. They serve only to divide and weaken our forces, to place us in a false position in the country, and prevent us from feeling and acting as one homogeneous body. We are all Catholics ; we are all Americans; and our duty and our interest alike require us to avoid all expressions that must excite in ourselves or in others a feeling to the contrary. If a man is a good Catholic, and does his duty as a loyal American citizen, it is nothing to me where he or his parents were born; and if I do my duty as a Catholic, and as an American citizen, nobody has any right to object to me that this is my native land. The only man for us, as Catholics, to mark and avoid, is he, whether American born or foreign born, who labors to stir up prejudices of race or nation amongst us, draws odious comparisons between native born and foreign born Catholics, and seeks to divide us according to the race or nation from which we have sprung. Such a man is an emissary of Satan, and no Catholic; no lover of the country should bid him good ruorrow. Nolite recipere eum in domum, nec Ave ei dixeritis. He is worse than a heretic. Let the most worthy fill the most exalted places; let no one be chosen or rejected solely for his birthplace, or that of his progenitors. Undoubtedly, we want a nationa! clergy, that is, national in the sense that they understand and appreciate the real interests and wants of Catholicity in the United States, and will labor for them with enlightened and true-hearted zeal; but it is not therefore necessary they should all be born or educated in the country. We have never yet sympathized, and trust we never shall sympathize, with that spirit
, formerly so strong in Poland and England, which would suffer none but natives of the land to receive preferment in the National Church ; we will never stop to ask the nationality of the priest before consenting to receive the sacraments at his hands, or to inquire whether the prelate whom the Holy Ghost has placed over us be Saxon or Celi, before begging his blessing, or yielding him the reverence and obedience due to bis pastoral office. This is
66 We are
the view we have always taken ever since we have had the honor to conduct a Catholic Review, and it is the only view, in our judgment, proper to be entertained by any Catholic in the Union."— Quarterly Review, 195–197.
In our Review for last July we say, p. 403 : not aware that, at the present time, the foreign born clergy are much out of proportion to the foreign born laity.” And in our Review for October last, we say, p. 518: “We are as much opposed to the introduction of KnowNothingism into the Church, as we are to its introduction into the state.” It is but simple justice to us to regard passages, like these, which abound in all our articles touching the subject, as qualifying what might otherwise seem to favor exclusive Americanism. They should be taken as indicative of our real sentiments, and if the same weight had been attached to them by our readers, which we ourselves attached to them when writing, nobody would ever have dreamed of ranking us with a party, even supposing such a party to exist, that seeks the exclusion of fureign born clergymen or foreign born laymen; and we are sure that it is owing to their having been overlooked, or being regarded as insignificant, although designed expressly to save us from being misunderstood, that we have been so widely and so strangely misapprehended. Let those who have interpreted our articles as unfriendly to forcigners, or as unduly American, re-read them, and regard the qualifications which are always inserted, and suppose that we really mean by them what we say, and they will be as much surprised as we have been by their misapprehension of our sentiments.
We speak not for others; but, speaking for ourselves, we assure his Grace that we have never contended that the principles of our religion may, by a skilful architect, be dovetailed into our civil and political principles, or that the doctrines of the Catholic Church can or should be Americanized. The system he speaks of and justly reprobates, has always been entirely foreign to our habits of thought. As an American and a convert, and therefore thinking we might understand non-Catholic Americans better than persons who have not been born and brought up in this country, we have, presumptuously perhaps, ventured, we own, to throw out, from time to time, various suggestions as to
the best manner of presenting the arguments for Catholic truth to the non-Catholic American mind. We have not hesitated to suggest, nay, to maintain, that the method usually adopted by our popular works of controversy, is not the one best adapted to make the most favorable impression. We have contended that the arguments for the Church, not her doctrines; may be presented, and even ought to be presented, in a manner better fitted to affect favorably the mind of our non-Catholic country
We have, also, ventured to express our conviction, that various things, not of faith, nor of universal discipline,—things usually regulated, in other countries, by concordats between the Ecclesiastical and Civil authorities, —may be, and need to be modified here, if we wish to secure to the Church, in her temporalities, the full benefit of our civil laws. We have gone no further. We have never been in the habit of contending that the Church should be conformed to the secular order, and it has, as our readers well know, been made a grave charge against us, and we have even been half menaced, -in jest, we presume,- with excommunication for it, that we assert too absolutely the supremacy of the spiritual over the temporal.
We have never represented the principles of Catholicity as peculiarly adapted to those of our civil and political institutions, but we have labored to prove that there is no necessary mutual repugnance between them; and therefore have concluded, on the one hand, that we may be good Catholics and loyal Americans, and on the other, that we may be loyal Americans and good Catholics.
We have done even this, not for the purpose of assigning a reason why men should be either Catholics or republicans, but to refute the popular objection, that the Church is incompatible with our political and civil institutions.
Undoubtedly, we have contended and still believe that there opens in this country a glorious field for the spread of Catholicity, and for the Church to exert her full influence on civilization. But we have never dreamed of a neoCatholicism, or even of a new development of Catholicity ; yet we have hoped and believed, and still hope and believe, that there will be effected here, under the influence of